In findings that may represent a breakthrough in the treatment of hepatitis C infection, researchers have reported that weekly injections of an experimental medication that denies the virus
a foothold in the liver substantially drove down subjects’ viral loads
after five weeks of treatment. Fourteen weeks after the injections
ended, researchers found that five of 18 infected subjects getting the
medication’s higher doses showed no detectable trace of infection.
The new study
describes a treatment approach that could outsmart the hepatitis C
virus’s penchant for developing resistance to existing drugs and
“provide curative therapy to a large proportion” of the 170 million
people in the world who are infected with the virus, wrote Harvard University physician Dr. Judy Lieberman and Dr. Peter Sarnow of Stanford University.